Issues You May Face When Letting Your Car Idle


If you tend to drive a lot or long commutes everyday then you know how tough it is to NOT idle. I mean you are usually sitting at red lights, stop signs, drive thru lines, or in bumper to bumper traffic. While this is pretty unavoidable, it can be bad news if you own a European vehicle, like a Mercedes, Jaguar or BMW.

Idling is when your car’s engine continues to run even though your vehicle is sitting still in one place. Many people allow their cars to idle in the driveway when warming them up in the morning before work, or when they’re sitting in a school parking lot waiting to pick up their kids.

Even though you might not think you’re doing any harm by idling car, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t do this:

  1. Wasting Gas

Contrary to popular belief, your car is using gas while idling. Even though you’re not stepping on the gas pedal, if you have your car idling in PARK for just two minutes, then your car is using up just as much gas as it would if you were to drive one mile. This means your car burns through one gallon of gas for every hour you let it idle.

  1. Burns Oil Quickly

In addition to wasting gas, you’re also wasting oil when idling. You may even find you’re having to replenish your vehicle’s oil supply more often than you would have. If you notice your Check Oil light is coming on earlier and earlier, and you know you have a tendency to idle a lot, you may want to rethink that habit.

  1. Produce More Harmful Emissions

When you are letting your car idle, there are emissions that are escaping into the atmosphere and causing air pollution. Reduce the amount of harmful emissions your vehicle produces by cutting back on how often your car is allowed to idle.

  1. Strain Your Battery

Your car’s battery is responsible for giving your car power when driving, but there are many other parts in your car that work diligently to keep your battery charged. Constant idling fails to give your battery a chance to recharge, which puts undue strain on it, which means it will wear out faster than it should.

  1. Reduce Performance

By allowing your car to idle for long periods of time you are essentially putting a lot of stress on vehicle components, such as head gaskets and spark plugs. This means they will wear down faster than they would if you did not engage in excessive idling. You don’t want to have to pay for a premature repair, do you?

It’s best overall to limit the amount of idling you do. Put your car in park if you know it will be more than a couple of minutes before you will be driving.